Thursday, April 08, 2010

Yemen / Saudi Arabia

Charity Reveals "Scorched Earth" Yemen Images
The Independent, April 7, 2010
"Amnesty International has revealed a collection of images that it says show the scale of the devastation caused by Yemeni and Saudi Arabian aerial bombardments of the northern Yemeni region of Sa'dah. The human rights organisation says the images were taken last month in and around the town of al-Nadir. It says they show buildings destroyed in the latest in a series of clashes between Yemeni forces and supporters of a Shia cleric. Among the damaged or destroyed civilian buildings photographed are what it says are market places, mosques, petrol stations, small businesses, a primary school, a power plant, a health centre -- and dozens of houses and residential buildings. Amnesty International Middle East Deputy Director Philip Luther said: 'This is a largely invisible conflict that has been waged behind closed doors. These images reveal the true scale and ferocity of the bombing and the impact it had on the civilians caught up in it.
This information has only now come to light through Yemenis who fled the conflict and have reached other parts of the country.' International humanitarian law forbids the targeting of civilian objects during conflicts. Deliberate attacks would be war crimes. The organisation says the bombardments came in the sixth round of fighting in the region since 2004 between Yemeni forces and the so-called Huthis -- armed followers of a Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi, a Shi'a cleric from the Zaidi sect killed in September that year. Government restrictions on access to the region combined with landmines and other security concerns mean that no independent observers or media are believed to have visited the area in recent months. Amnesty International says the pictures are consistent with testimony given by many witnesses who had fled Sa'dah earlier this month. [...]"
[n.b. Link to additional images from Yemen released by Amnesty.]

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Please be constructive in your comments. - AJ